Gluten-Free Stuffing: Quinoa Stuffing with Apple, Sweet Potato and Walnuts (Week 45, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on November 19, 2012 0 Comments
gluten free stuffing quinoa stuffing


For a healthy twist on a holiday favorite, this easy recipe for gluten-free stuffing made with quinoa, apples, sweet potato and walnuts is just the ticket.

Our holiday table is always filled with family favorites – tastes and smells that immediately bring back fond memories of family get-togethers and warm celebrations. But this year, in honor of our 52 New Foods adventure, we’re adding a few new additions to our table. Thanks to the fantastic and fabulous Marla Meridith at Family Fresh Cooking, we’re welcoming quinoa stuffing to our list of favorite holiday dishes. Bonus points for being gluten-free!

Gluten Free Stuffing: Quinoa Stuffing with Apple, Sweet Potato and Walnuts

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 to 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients:

quinoa stuffing ingredients


1 cup dry quinoa
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ¼” dice
2 Braeburn apples, chopped into ¼” dice
½ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp thyme
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Add the quinoa to two cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.  

2. While the quinoa is cooking, add the lemon to the apples.

quinoa stuffing step 1


3. Toss the lemon apples with the sweet potato, maple syrup and spices.

quinoa stuffing step 2


4. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.   

quinoa stuffing step 3


5. Add the quinoa and walnuts to the baked apples and sweet potatoes. Drizzle with a little extra maple syrup and add salt to taste.

quinoa stuffing step 4


6. Enjoy with friends and family!

gluten free stuffing quinoa stuffing pinterest


Recipe inspired by Marla Meridith's Quinoa Stuffing with Apple, Sweet Potato and Hazelnuts.

* What new foods are you adding to your holiday table this year?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Easy Butternut Squash Soup!

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Thanksgiving Activities for Kids: Tree of Thanks

Posted by Jennifer Lee on November 15, 2012 0 Comments
thanksgiving activities for kids tree of thanks step 1


Grow a Tree of Thanks to share your appreciations this holiday.

Each year at holiday dinners we dutifully go around the table and share what we are thankful for – the bountiful meal, our family, our friends. But I often leave the table feeling: a) what about the little things that often go unnoticed, and b) why don’t we celebrate what we are grateful for everyday? So this year, I decided it would be different. On a quiet afternoon, when the kids were at school, I posted a simple message on a patch of free wall space in our kitchen. It read, “I am thankful for…”

This lonely little note was met with much excitement when my kids arrived home that afternoon. Pen and paper in hand, they began scribbling down some of the things that make them happy.

thanksgiving activities for kids tree of thanks step 2


Each day we add something new to our budding tree – a warm blanket, an unexpected visit from a friend, the sun peeking out from behind the clouds on a rainy day. It’s an easy way to celebrate and be thankful in the moment, and it’s wonderful to see our tree of thanks growing so beautifully each day.

thanksgiving activities for kids tree of thanks


Instead of waiting until the holidays to show our thanks, we are celebrating all that we are grateful for each day, and bringing focus to some of the little things that bring us joy when they so often (and so easily) go unnoticed. It’s a small way to appreciate the simple things that make our lives special every day.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

 

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Persimmon: Recipes for Your Holiday Table (Week 43, 52 New Foods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on November 05, 2012 3 Comments
persimmon recipes for the holidays


Move over baked apples. Persimmon is our new food of the week and the votes are in: it’s a landslide victory!  


During the holidays, we always feature our traditional family favorite recipes like cranberry sauce and homemade pumpkin pie. But this year, in honor of our 52 New Foods Challenge, we wanted to add a few new additions to our holiday table. On our weekly visit to the local farmers’ market, my kids spotted overflowing bushels of beautiful persimmons. We loaded them into our basket, baked them up with a little honey and cinnamon and discovered a new fall treat that will most definitely be making an appearance at our holiday table this year.

Baked Persimmon

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 to 50 minutes
Yield: Makes 8 servings

persimmon recipes ingredients


Ingredients:

4 medium Fuyu persimmons
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1 cup hot water

Directions:

1. Cut the tops off the persimmons. Slice the remaining fruit in half, horizontally. Place in a foil lined baking pan.

Note: Admire the beautiful pattern inside the fruit.

persimmon recipes step 1

persimmon recipes step 1b

2. Add the honey and spices to the cup of hot water. Mix gently until dissolved.

persimmon recipes step 2


3. Pour the honey mixture over the persimmons. Cover and bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the fruit is soft.

persimmon recipes step 3


4. Garnish with a drizzle of the honey cinnamon syrup.

persimmon recipes for the holidays

baked persimmon


What we Liked:
We searched through several persimmon recipes, but this simple dish from The Kitchn was easy and tasty. You can also enjoy the simple pleasures of persimmon by just slicing the fruit and adding to a hearty fall salad.     

* Do you have a favorite persimmon recipe? How do you like to prepare this delicious fall fruit?

Craving more easy recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Homemade pumpkin pie!

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.

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Can Every Day Be Thanksgiving?

Posted by Erin Nantell on November 18, 2011 3 Comments

Erin Pasero and familyThanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I think it’s the culmination of many of the things I enjoy—time with my family, great food, comforting rituals and friendly conversation.

But why should Thanksgiving be the only memorable meal of the year? There are many aspects of Thanksgiving that we can incorporate into everyday meals. Especially after a tumultuous day, the time spent at the dinner table should be a calming ritual where we can reconnect. But if your family is anything like our family was a year ago, meals were more mayhem than merry.

Slowly, we found little things that made meals with the family much more enjoyable (including the fantastic Crunch a Color™ game). Surprisingly, many of the things we’ve learned are things we do at Thanksgiving too, but I never made the connection until now.

Here are a few tips to bring the best of Thanksgiving to our family meals the other 364 days of the year:

  • Give your kids a job. Whether it’s washing the veggies, baking dessert, coloring place cards, or setting the table, make them feel included.   
  • Include seasonal side dishes in your meal plan. You’ll save 70% by eating what’s in season too. What’s not to love about that? 
  • Light a candle to signal the beginning of a meal and snuff it out when it’s over. Kids get squirmy at long meals, but by making it a ritual, with a defined beginning and end, you’ll help build impulse control. 
  • What are you grateful for? I am not sure why Thanksgiving was the only time of year that this was the topic of conversation at the dinner table.  They say feeling gratitude is a significant contributor to happiness. As parents, if we are positive and express gratitude, our child will pick up this attitude and habit. For more conversation ideas, try the free, printable Crunch a Color™ conversation starter cards.

What Thanksgiving traditions does your family cherish? Can you make them part of the everyday? Please share in the comments section below!

Mom of two reformed picky eaters, Erin Pasero credits Crunch a Color for making mealtime fun for her family. When she's not eating, she also blogs for HealthyHipMama.com.

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Healthy Holidays

Posted by Jennifer Lee on October 07, 2011 1 Comment

ThanksgivingI love the holidays. My children are giddy with the sounds, sights, and smells of the season. Like many parents, I enjoy spending time with my kids and sharing treasured holiday traditions through cooking, baking and eating! But a full calendar of holiday celebrations can quickly add up to a less than healthy holiday menu. A few tips for how to keep the holidays healthy and happy this year!

Pace yourself – Back to back parties can run parents and kids ragged. Space out parties! Plan for a rest day in-between big events to allow little bodies to recover.

Play each day – Schedule time each day to get out and play! On mild days, ride bikes to the park. On rainy days, a game of hoops at the gym can be a fun afternoon activity for the whole family. If time is working against you, crank up the tunes and have a dance party. Just get moving!

Include a healthy option with each meal – Offer a couple of healthy options at each holiday meal. Steamed veggies, like green beans or broccoli, are beautiful on their own and make a colorful compliment to a holiday table.

Lighten up – If you’re heading off to a big family dinner, plan for lighter fare earlier in the day. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on yogurt parfaits to infuse a little holiday flavor into your breakfast. Homemade, hearty chicken noodle soup can make for a veggie packed, lighter lunch option.

H2O is the way to go – Put out a pitcher of water on your kitchen table so kids can easily help themselves throughout the day. Remind kids (and yourself) to fill ‘er up.

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